Huawei Mate 9 review: The very best big Android phone

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The fast take

Huawei has finally come old – china company’s enormous new flagship phone is a big leap ahead in software terms – maintained by top-notch hardware and epic durability.

Huawei Mate 9 Full Review

Using the spectacular failure from the Samsung Universe Note 7 comes an chance for everybody else having a big-screened Android phone to market. A significant competitor in the realm of “phablets” continues to be removed from the sport, and China’s Huawei stands to profit handsomely from Samsung’s misfortune.

The business’s lengthy-running Mate series – itself reply to the prosperity of the Note line, in older days – has created itself out a distinct segment among consumers who appreciate its metal construction, enormous displays and lengthy battery existence.

The brand new Mate 9 continues the household line – a rather slimmer, smarter form of last year’s Mate 8, with upgraded internals along with a new dual camera setup thanks to imaging partner Leica. Just as essential as any hardware upgrade may be the new EMUI 5 software, the greatest overhaul to Huawei’s UI in a long time, getting by using it Android 7. Nougat.

There is however several Mate 9 model now. Plus the vanilla 5.9-inch Mate 9 (with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage), Huawei will to produce special edition Porsche Design Mate 9, having a 5.5-inch curved AMOLED display, along with a capacious 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

We have were built with a little more than a week to get at know both sensible and ridiculous Mate 9 models in the last month. Even though it’s not hard to dismiss the “PD” model being an costly sideshow, the standard Mate 9 shines through because the best big-screened Android phone of 2016.

We are publishing this review after around six days using the regular Huawei Mate 9 (dual-SIM, MHA-L29), and also the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 (dual-SIM, LON-L29). We used both devices around the EE and Vodafone United kingdom systems whilst in the United kingdom, as well as on Telekom.de and Vodafone Germany systems while roaming in Germany.

For the first month using the Mate 9, both phones were running pre-production software (build B109SP02). On November 30, we received an over-the-air update to B126 around the regular Mate 9, and B124 around the Porsche Design model, getting them as much as retail-quality software. As guaranteed, we are updating our review to mirror the alterations within the final Mate 9 firmware. Before we start, a couple of primary points on what’s altered and just what has not:

Low-light performance within the camera continues to be considerably improved.

The program issues all around the notification area (and notification icons) happen to be fixed.

“Ghosting” around the capacitive buttons from the PD model has improved, but we are still seeing periodic missed taps around the home key.

And knowning that, to the review!

There is nothing unpredicted or particularly extravagant concerning the Mate 9’s exterior design. The majority of why is in the outdoors from the device has not altered a great deal since last year’s Mate 8. However, Huawei has labored to help make the phone a bit more compact and ergonomic – and since we are still handling a gigantic display here, that sort of focus on detail is essential.

The Mate 9’s slim profile and equally svelte horizontal bezels combine to create a 5.9-inch phone that does not feel particularly huge. When compared to Nexus 6P, a 5.7-incher, the Mate 9 is rather simple to wrangle one-handed. This can be a big phone, although not anywhere close to unwieldy as a number of its predecessors. (2014’s Mate 7 feels comically huge, in comparison.)

The fundamental physicality from the phone draws from Huawei’s established design language. There is a curved unibody, furnished in soft-feeling matte aluminum, damaged up by relatively discrete plastic antenna cutouts at the very top and bottom.

The very best, bottom and sides possess a subtle polished effect for them, plus a hardly noticeable brushed pattern, along with a very slight curve that belongs to them. Regardless of this, the back and front chamfers result in the Mate 9 simple to grip onto, despite its relatively large footprint.

The mixture of lustrous chamfers, subtle brushed patterns around the sides, along with a softer matte back give sufficient visual flair as to the might otherwise happen to be a monotonous design.

Located right in the center of that metal unibody may be the Mate 9’s fingerprint scanner, which is equally as fast and accurate as we have come to anticipate from Huawei. Setup takes around six taps per finger, and also the fingerprint sensor also includes some neat shortcut gestures, like swiping lower to spread out the notification shade.

Round the front, there’s little happening besides a 5.9-inch sheet of two.5D glass, which tapers in to the metal unibody, passing on a natural quality. Despite its mere 1080p resolution, it’s really an incredible searching panel. Colors appear just a little around the awesome side automatically, however that’s easily remedied within the Display settings menu.

Ideally, I would’ve preferred Huawei result in the jump as much as Quad HD here, especially because the smaller sized Porsche Design Mate 9 manages this resolution having to break a sweat. But confronted with a realistic look at a 1080p panel at 5.9 inches, I can not say I am too disappointed. It appears all right.

The Mate 9’s audio abilities are equally beefy – up to and including point. The telephone combines a rear-firing loudspeaker using the primary earpiece inside a dual-speaker setup, like the HTC 10 or Huawei P9 Plus. At max volume level, the output is louder than you’d ever would like it to be, that is great if you are showing someone a relevant video inside a crowded bar. But above around 50 % volume, playback becomes more and more tinny, with a few distortion sneaking in.

Fortunately, we have discovered that wired audio output is great with this particular phone. The Three.5mm jack (yep, it’s certainly one of individuals) is capable of doing driving demanding studio earphones with as much power because the HTC 10.

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